Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Role of a Maternal Diet- How to Plan your Child's Health

Studies have found that what a woman eats just before, during and after pregnancy will impact the health of her child for the rest of his or her life. This area of research is known as fetal programming, which says that during fetal development, an inefficient intake in one or more essential vitamins and nutrients can potentially alter the structure, size or function of the developing organs for the rest of the child’s life. Not only will the baby be affected during pregnancy, but also later in life. 99 out of 100 Americans do not even meet the minimum standards of a balanced diet.

Here are some tips that can help support your child’s future health:
1: A diet rich in vitamin B12 has been linked to a lower risk for insulin resistance in her child later in life. This vitamin is needed to form blood cells, nerve sheaths, proteins and for growth. Sources of B12: meat, eggs, fish, milk products.

2: Vitamin C status has been shown to lower oxidative damage to fetal tissues and lower the risk for heart problems later in life.
Sources of vitamin C: citrus fruits, strawberries, kiwi, broccoli, spinach and tomatoes.

3: Vitamin D deficiency may be a risk factor for many chronic diseases, including rickets, multiple sclerosis, heart disease, type 1 diabetes and cancer. You can find a multiple vitamin and mineral supplement that includes vitamin D and is formulated for the needs of women who are pregnant.

4: DHA omega-3 is an important building block of a baby’s brain. 97% of the omega-3s found in the brain is DHA.
Sources of DHA:  fatty fish (tuna, mackerel, salmon) and a vegetarian and sustainable source of DHA from algae can be found in foods, beverages and supplements on store shelves.

5: Children born of mothers with low folate levels during pregnancy were 57 percent more likely to have emotional problems later in life.
Sources of folate or folic acid: dark leafy greens or supplementing with 600 to 800 micrograms of folic acid daily.

Be sure to speak with your doctor about your current diet and before starting any supplemental program.

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